Going on holiday after treatment finishes

Hi All

I really want to book a holiday for the last week of March which will be about a month after I finish radiotheraphy, I am currently half way through 6 x FEC. I’m worried that if I leave it to the last minute, the flights will be fully booked as it is the school hols, we want to go to the Canaries for some R&R but if I book now, will I still feel like it then? I know I will have to be careful in the sun but thats fine.

Can anyone who has finished treatment help with how they felt? I know we are all different but I am not having too hard a time with chemo and am working through it albeit mostly from home.

I guess I wont get insurance that close to treatment end either so if I do book in advance, I will have to go or forfeit the cost.

You will be fine but tired. Thinking positive certainly will help you.

I felt tired and exhausted, couldn’t walk to the end of the street, I wouldn’t have wanted to walk the streets of Paris, or trekked the Himalayas BUT a holiday lazing about on a beach would have been a real delight. By the end of rads I had my sense of taste back, too. I say go for it!!!
There is a travel insurance thread, you might look at it for advice. You can get insurance that covers stuff not cancer-related, and it may be worth ringing round to find out what’s what–companies that are willing to work with you are named.

We went to the Alps in August, a month after I finished rads. I was able to ride up the mountains in the ski lifts and walk down, doing several walks of 2-3 hours each. 6-8 weeks previously I hadn’t been able to get upstairs without stopping three times for a rest as I had such a bad reaction to Tax. I thought I’d be spending the week lounging around and admiring the view, but I wa astonished at how well I’d recovered and the holiday did me a world of good.

You CAN get travel insurance. I had grade 3 / stage 3A with quite extensive node involvement and got insurance through Bromley/Insure Pink. When I phoned them I was still having rads and was taking Tamoxifen so was having two forms of treatment. They gave me quote which wasn’t too bad (I think about £135) , then told me what it would be if I waited to take out the policy until I’d finished rads, so was only having one form of treatment. It was a lot less (can’t remember now but considerably less than £100 for 10 days in France). They gave me a reference no. so the day after I finished rads I phoned them back and activated the policy.

There’s always the risk that your chemo might be delayed for some reason if your SEs worsen (and with FEC they do tend to get a bit worse with each one and you get more tired), which would mean your rads get delayed, but if you’ve been OK so far it’s probably worth the risk!

Apart from anything else, it gives you something lovely to look forward to at the end of treatment!

Jane xxx

Thanks Quail, that is how I think I will feel and we have done a few of those holidays so I know what to expect. Thanks re the tip on insurance too - I have an annual policy via M&S and they cover everything non-cancer related too but we are going to the US later in the year so need some proper cover for that. Hard to know what would crop up on a short holiday that would be cancer related and need immediate treatment though?

Unfortunately as chemo and rads affect your body in so many different ways, they could lay the blame on those for almost anything. Rads can weaken bones so if you broke something they might attempt to blame the rads… I wouldn’t have travelled with BC cover, but lots of women do take the risk and have been fine.

Jane xxx

Hi Jayne-M
I had 6 x FEC-T and I went to Tenerife 5 weeks after finishing Rads, but I only booked it after my Rads had finished as unsure of how tired the Rads would make me feel, the peak effects takes about 3 weeks to kick in from each blast from memory. I also went skiing 4 months after Rads. I didn’t have any delays with my FEC-T or Rads.
My travel cover excluded any breast cancer related claims - I took the risk of not getting any additional insurance - I did question my insurance company that if I broke a leg or arm etc whilst skiing would I be covered - answer was yes.
Treatment affects everyone differently, I was tired but I walked for a mile or so every day in Tenerife, ate like a horse, hired cycles and swam every day, you will know where your limits are and you can do as little or as much as you feel is appropriate for you.
I hope you make the right decision for you and it is nice to have some R&R once treatment finishes and something to look forward to as Alto pointed out.
Bev x


I went to Turkey for 2 weeks in September 6 weeks after finishing chemo & before starting rads. It was the best thing I could have done, completely relaxed, swam in the sea several times a day & ate fabulous fresh food. Couldn’t do much energetic but lying around in the warmth reading trashy novels was the perfect convalescence and set me up for the daily grind of 20 rads.

As the holiday was booked prior to diagnosis my bank insurance fully covered me, but I could have got cover just for bc very cheaply to supplement my bank insurance if it had excluded bc.

Hope that helps
S x

I went to Moscow 2.5 months after rads whilst still on herceptin. Got insurance for everything except for the herceptin and anything concerned with that. I had tried to buy the insurance much earlier but was told not possible - was advised by Insure Pink to wait till a month after rads before trying. I did and it was fine, and not expensive. Enjoy your hol! x

Hi Jayne
Not wanting to put you off but I would wait to book until knowing the definite start date for your rads.
I had 6 FEC and sailed through the 1st 4 with few problems, I then had a week delay on both the 5th and 6th one due to low nuetrophils which I believe is common on FEC. If the same happened to you, you could be travelling 2 weeks after your last rads. Not sure how many rads you are having but it is possible to have a reaction to the rads which if you had a 2 week delay in starting could mean no holiday and money lost.
Good luck with the remainder of your treatment

Hi Pargayan I had thought I would need to wait unitl after FEC is finished. I will talk to onc too re rads and see how soon after FEC I can start - not sure what is normal.

thanks for everyone’s comments, its good to have so many people to ask xx

Hi Jayne, I went to Rhodes 8 weeks after finishing chemo and 3 weeks after finishing rads, my onc and nurse told me this would be fine and it was for me. I booked it when I was going through chemo but factored in any delays to treatment of which there were 2. I booked travel insurance with Travel Insurance | Voted UK’s Number 1 for Customer Care | AllClear Travel and it was very reasonable, £53 for 2 adults and 1 child. A lazy holiday is just what the doctor ordered after going through treatment x

I went on holiday to Lanzarote last year about 4 days after finishing rads! I had all the concerns you had and the team planned my treatment so I finised beforehand. It meant I had a treatment on a Monday and went on the Thursday. I was actually fine we had had it booked for a long time and it was with the extended family so 19 in all of us went. I was fine, though like you concerned. What I did was slather on the sun cream on and wear a t-shirt over the top of my bikini so could get legs and arms tanned. I did find that a lot of my t-shirts were actually lower than I had realised (not that low) and one or two I kind of stitched up to get some more cover. I did find that once or twice I had to say I am off for an afternoon snooze but surprised myself by staying up to 11 pm most nights. I think the break was good for me and the company a good distraction - not much time to feel sorry for yourself. Good excuse to be lazy and be spoilt. The insurance company were find - we use annual with Staysure - and in actual fact as we were due to renew again in March we got a bit of a discount as I turned 65 that year so by doing it a bit earler got it as a 65 year old. However, have had to limit it to Europe + as before that we had worldwide and by including USA it made it prohibitive.
Since then we have had some more holidays and I have a couple of old t-shirts that I sort of sling over to cover that breast area which sort of does the trick, I kind of tuck it into bikini top. Haven’t noticed any strange looks! Funnily enough I have always tended to lavish on the cream there and be careful as didn’t want a wrinkly cleavage!